About Us

An educated workforce is the foundation of every growing community, and the wealth that sustains its prosperity. Lead Up strengthens that foundation by developing the next generation of innovators, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and community leaders.

Julie Allen

Founder and CEO, Lead Up

Ready for College.

Ready for Career.

Lead Up ignites it…

 Lead Up helps young people write themselves into the success stories of their community.

We believe that skills, opportunities, resources and networks are the key tactics in developing those stories.

 Motivated young people come to Lead Up to discover their passion. Our unique program model builds their strengths, nurtures their ambition and propels them towards the professional options and opportunities that match their strengths and interests – particularly those in which they are historically underrepresented.

But our goal is not just to prepare our students for jobs, we also encourage young people to explore the community and contribute their time and talent to help others.

Taken together, these powerful stories maximize the potential of promising youth and in turn positively impact workforce insufficiencies, underrepresentation of minorities in professional fields across the vocational landscape, and socioeconomic inequality.

Upcoming Events…

Online event

Tuesday, August 24  | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

Online event

Tuesday, September 21  | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

Online event

Tuesday, October 19  | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

Online event

Tuesday, November 16  | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT


Speaking, writing, thinking and learning skills, leading to academic achievement, success in higher education and developing critical competencies for the workplace.

Community Involvement

Opportunities to explore and impact the community while practicing essential skills through unique volunteer service experiences.


Guidance, resources and tools students need to choose their post-high school educational path – especially for those students who are first in their families to go.


Empowered student leaders organize and facilitate college and career experiences and engage their peers in planning for their future.


Diverse, dynamic networks of Lincoln’s leaders and professionals share their knowledge and experience; illuminating pathways to fulfilling careers, coaching and teaching career/workplace skills and helping students connect to future employment.

Here are some ways you can help us Lead Up

Share your expertise

Are you passionate about your career? Our student leaders would love to interview you and learn more about it. Or, come to one of our networking events to meet and engage with students eager to know more about the professional world.

Lend a hand

We need event volunteers, tutors and occastional presenters. If you have skills you want to share let us know and we’ll find a place for you.

Connect us

Do you know a business that we could get in touch with? Are you part of a group that would love to hear more? Put us in touch.

Help us grow

Bring your friends and collegues to our program and fundraising events. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media and watch our students reach their goals. Want to know about where Lead Up is headed? Let’s have coffee and we’ll tell you more.

Become a tutor

Volunteer tutors are a key component in the Lead Up program, helping students advance their academic learning and prepare for the challenges of college.  Click to learn more about our program.

Apply to be an AmeriCorps member

AmeriCorps emembers facilitate college and career exploration through a structured program of extracurricular activities.  Click to learn more about this important position.

Apply for an AmeriCorps VISTA position

VISTA members serve as Development Associates. In this role they will dip their toes into developing volunteers and partners, helping with marketing and communications, and revenue development through establishing relationships and event planning. Click to learn more about this role.

Monthly Giving

Tutoring, supporting, challenging…the work of preparing young people for successful next steps in life never slows down. By becoming a monthly donor you are ensuring that our work to develop promising, motivated students never falters. In fact, our monthly donors have such an important impact, we’ve given them the heartfelt nickname, “The Up Side.”

Join the “Up Side” today and put your donation to work immediately.

We make it easy with automatic donation payments and an annual statement provided for tax purposes and “UpSiders” get special updates, advance notice for events and other group benefits.

Honor, Remember & Celebrate

Our donors help young people reach life-changing milestones. Celebrate yours or, honor family, friends and loved ones by making a tax-deductible donation in their name. Your gift will celebrate the significant people and events of your life, and grow and another.

When you make a gift of honor of $15 or more, Lead Up will send your honoree a beautiful card letting them know about your gift and the lives it will change.

Click to donate now.

Shopping for good

Next time you hop on-line for some shopping, remember to kick back a little to Lead Up from your next purchase through Amazon or IGive. Fast, easy sign up and benefits from nearly 1900 of your favorite retailers like Amazon, Bed, Bath and Beyond or Kohls as well as airlines, hotels and more.

Employer Matching

Through corporate gift matching, your employer can multiply your gift to Lead Up, making it go further.

Getting started is as easy as checking with your company’s human resources office to see if they offer gift matching.

Click to learn more.

Meet our team